And to think I used to idolize Steven Seagal!  »

When I first moved to the Bay Area, my therapist suggested I participate in an organized activity in order to “make friends,” whatever that means. I joined an aikido dojo and became intrigued by one of the most famous practitioners of this martial art: Steven Seagal. Dude was the first foreigner in Japan to operate an aikido dojo, and he’s a seventh dan, which means he’s basically indestructible. He provided further evidence of this in his acting career, movies such as Hard to Kill (obviously) and Under Siege. I decided during those heady aikido days that Seagal was a badass.

HOWEVER, Steven and I are now beefin’ due to his reality TV show Steven Seagal: Lawman, during the filming of which his team raided a farm on the grounds that the birds there were being raised for cockfighting. Cockfighting is terrible, but during the raid Seagal and his “team” allegedly killed more than 100 of the roosters living there, plus a puppy.

This behavior seems extra-odd in light of Seagal’s pro-animal-rights stance and the release of The Patriot (straight to DVD!). But Seagal and friends say the 11-month-old puppy, companion to the farm owner’s children, is lie invented to attract publicity and increase the damages in the impending lawsuit.

Let it be noted that toupee-wearing ham and terrifying racist teabagger Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz. signed off on this. This is the guy famous for forcing prison inmates to eat spoiled food and live in tents during extreme Phoenix temperatures. He also thought “volunteer chain gangs” were a good idea. Naturally, he OKed sending armored vehicles, dozens of officers, and Steven Seagal ON A GODDAMNED TANK to raid an unarmed chicken farm, tear down a surrounding wall, and smash the windows of the owner’s home. Thanks for laying down the law, “America’s Toughest Sheriff”! Puppy blood is on your hands.

[photo via Newsoxy]


Rooster kills cockfighter  »

No, for real. So many jokes. SO MANY JOKES. I think it goes without saying that if you play with fire—roosters who have had razor blades attached to their feet—you’re gonna get burned—your throat will be slit by said rooster. How very sad for everyone involved. Don’t fuck with roosters, people! They be crazy! Just leave them alone and let them do their crazy cock-a-doodle-DOO thang!
[Thanks to for the tip; photo via Animal Place, where they currently have adorable adoptable hens!]


More magical fish, cockfighting in California, boring old French food, surprise! cats: it’s this week’s link-o-rama!  »

These are portraits of donkeys at Donegal Donkey Sanctuary by artist Julia Feliz, a member of Etsy for Animals. Read about her work at the sanctuary and her efforts to raise funds and encourage others to volunteer at their local sanctuaries—she’s great.

There’s a new magic fish in town! Not a SuperSalmon, no; this one is the barramundi, a near-vegetarian (har) that produces loads of Omega-3, poops fertilizer, and smiles before it’s killed. That last one is a lie. The other ones are real, though: ask Barry Estabrook, who wrote a whole article about it in the Atlantic food section! It’s probably totally credible: his primary source was Australis Aquaculture, the biggest (only?) barramundi farming operation in the world! That is not a lie, and it’s gross. Cockfighting is also super-gross, but especially here in California, where a first offense is a fine rather than the misdemeanor it is in other states. According to the Humane Society, California hosts more cockfights than dogfights because of this little fine business. Tenderblog picked up the story of LGBT Compassion’s longtime protest of the super-gross, super-illegal, bizarrely overlooked sale of live, “spent” chickens from factory egg farms, so that’s good. Whether a person agrees with selling live chickens in farmers’ markets is moot; this operation is illegal and the city is ignoring it. Gross.

Reader Alanna sent us this lovely photo of the black turtle beans she grew in her garden this summer! Thanks, Alanna, these look wonderful. It has been a banner week for beans!
[Do you have awesome pictures? Gossip? News? Events? Do please let us know!]

We know animals sleep differently than people, and that they dream, but might they be capable of spirituality as well? We’ve seen chimpanzees, you know, “confront” death; do animals have near-death experiences? Sloane Crosley would like to clear up rumors about “cat people,” i.e. “crazy” needn’t be their constant adjective; cats are perfectly fine, perhaps spiritual creatures themselves. In San Francisco, planners are now considering how to adjust buildings to prevent accidental bird deaths. Virgin America—also in San Francisco!—will from now on use eggs from cage-free hens in all their eggy in-flight meals.

Hey, a new fight about consumer information/OBESITY OH NO!: The Institute of Medicine would like to see food packages with a label on the front, listing “the nutrients most responsible for obesity and chronic diseases: calories, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium”; the FDA also wants to start labeling packages on the front, but so far “standardizing nutrition labeling” is still “a proposal”; and of course “food” producers aren’t very pleased about it and, of course, have “been in discussions with the F.D.A. as it develops its recommendations.” Whatever, vegetables are for cool kids, exxxtreme baby carrotz!! The U.S. isn’t the only country with food problems, though; apparently France is no longer the destination for la cuisine la plus haute du monde. Our traveling Vegansaurs have enjoyed their culinary adventures: maybe more adventures in vegan cooking with French techniques is the answer, messieurs et mesdames les chefs. Certainly you oughtn’t cook up anymore de la dinde—what we must do is listen to our pal Ellen and adopt a turkey from Farm Sanctuary! If you’re in the right mood (read: maudlin as a great-aunt on her third tumbler), looking at those turkeys can make a person tear up.

Jordan tries to act all normal, but clearly cats (at least!) are different in Canada.
[can’t see the video? watch it at!]

Finally: “How about that Rainbow Grocery? It sure is full of hippies!” —Jay Leno.

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